Step 3 Make Sure Your Idea Is Well Defined

If an idea is sound enough to persuade outsiders to back you, you have got to be able to explain it over the telephone or on the back of a postcard. All great inventors or developers can make the complex sound simple. Einstein said, "If you can't explain an idea to an eight-year-old child you probably don't understand it yourself."

Whether your idea is simple or complex, you are going to have to communicate it simply if you want anyone to finance you. If you can't explain it to a potential backer, they won't be able to explain the idea to their colleagues. And, if collectively they don't understand it, they will never allow the money to be risked in the first place. Backers have to be confident that you have a clear vision and direction.

The exercise of trying to encapsulate your idea, who will use it, and why in 30 words or less is salutary. You will either discover that it just can't be done, in which case your idea is almost certainly too complex to ever sell efficiently, or by trial and error with friends and relatives you will arrive at an explanation that everyone can understand. Your explanation should raise few questions and most people should find it satisfactory as far as it goes. Marketing people call this explanation the concept.

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